Instant Pot vegan cookbook

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3 Instant Pot vegan cookbook reviews

Instant Pot vegan cookbook: 3 cookbooks to make amazing vegan dishes with your Instant Pot

I’m normally someone who likes to experiment when I cook, but it didn’t take long for me to order my first Instant Pot vegan cookbook. And then a second… And then realize I already had another cookbook that was going to help me take advantage of additional features of the Instant Pot. I’m reviewing these cookbooks together, as part of my series of reviews of vegan cookbooks.

What is an Instant Pot?

Maybe you arrived here looking for inspiration for vegan Instant Pot recipes, or maybe you just stumbled across this post while browsing for vegan cookbooks. In that case, you are probably wondering what the heck is an Instant Pot!

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An Instant Pot is an electric appliance that combines several functions in one clever device. With the Instant Pot, especially the latest 7-in-1 models, you get a:

  • pressure cooker
  • slow cooker
  • rice cooker
  • saute/browning device
  • steamer
  • warmer (to reheat meals), and
  • yogurt maker

Suspicious about one device being able to do all this? So was I, at the beginning. When I learned about the Instant Pot, I wanted to get a feel for how people were using it. Before buying one, I joined a very helpful group on Facebook called Instant Pot Vegan Recipes. It didn’t take long for me to figure out this appliance would make a great addition to my kitchen. I was especially impressed with the pressure cooker function, and the yogurt maker feature.

So I finally bought an Instant Pot during the recent Amazon Prime Day sale (Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial). I settled for the IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, with a capacity of 6 quarts.

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Why do I need Instant Pot cookbooks?

Instant Pot vegan cookbook: the Instant Pot comes with its own cookbook
Thank you Instant Pot, but I’m looking for vegan recipes!

If you have never cooked with a pressure cooker, it’s a good idea to follow recipes for a little while, especially when it comes down to how much liquid is needed. Too little liquid? You’ll burn the content to a crisp (and then will have to scrape it off the bottom of the pot). Too much liquid? You’ll get a mushy mess.

A good cookbook is a must for anyone new to pressure cooking!

The Instant Pot comes with its own recipe booklet. I didn’t try a single recipe from this book, for the most obvious reason: most of them are not vegan. The book does contain a few vegan friendly recipes, but sticking to only these recipes would prevent you from experiencing all the amazing dishes and flavors you can conjure up with your new Instant Pot.

 

 

Best Instant Pot vegan cookbook: Vegan Under Pressure

Instant Pot vegan cookbook: Vegan Under PressureVegan Under Pressure

No contest here: Vegan Under Pressure, the bestselling vegan pressure cooking book by Jill Nussinow, is a must if you want to create amazing dishes in your Instant Pot.

Jill is the pressure cooking queen, she has been pressure cooking for a long time, and she really knows her stuff. Pressure cooking is less about going with the flow as it is experimenting over and over. And Jill has been experimenting tons over the years.

Her instructions in the book are simple, and allow for difference between using a stovetop pressure cooker or electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. I’ve made three recipes from this book so far and they have all turned out perfectly. One dish in particular, a tempeh tajine with sweet potato and carrots, was probably the best tempeh I’ve ever had!

Jill is also a valued and very active member of the Instant Pot Vegan Recipe Facebook group, where she is generous with her advice and time.

Instant Pot vegan cookbook: Tempeh Tajine recipe from Vegan Under Pressure

You really can’t go wrong by adding Vegan Under Pressure to your collection of vegan cookbooks! Just one word of warning: if you buy cookbooks for the photos, this is not your top pick, but the next book in this review might be just what you needed!

A dedicated Instant Pot vegan cookbook: Epic Vegan Instant Pot Cooking

Instant Pot vegan cookbook: Epic Vegan Instant Pot CookingEpic Vegan Instant Pot Cooking

I was very curious about this cookbook, as it was clearly meant to be used by those with an Instant Pot.

As far as the recipes in Epic Vegan Instant Pot Cooking go, they are good, some of them are even pretty amazing (especially the Bomb Diggity Black Bean Rice and the Asian Style Quinoa), but there are only about 30 of them in the entire book. If you’re picking only one vegan cookbook to help you use your Instant Pot, you’ll be out of options quickly (or making the same thing over and over, nothing wrong with it if that’s what you want).

There are two things I love about this Instant Pot vegan cookbook: it includes a photo of each dish and cooking charts at the very end to allow you to experiment on your own.

I however found the style of the writing a bit annoying. It reminds me of another bestselling cookbook, Thug Kitchen, which became famous not only for its great recipes but also for its use of raw, uncensored language. I also don’t like being referred to as a “Lazy F@ck”… I’m not lazy, I’m efficient 🙂

An Instant Pot vegan cookbook for slow cooking fans: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker

Instant Pot vegan cookbook: Fresh from the Vegan Slow CookerFresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker

Psst! Don’t tell anyone I said this, but the Instant Pot is not just about pressure cooking, it does a fantastic job as a slow cooker as well. Joking aside, while there are times when you just want to throw something in the pressure cooker and get diner done, there are also times when you want to let dinner simmer on a low heat all day, until you come back home to a fragrant house.

I’ve had Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker for a while now, it was published in 2012, but since the ex left with the slow cooker, I haven’t been able to test the recipes as much as I usually do. It’s obvious that the slow cooker function of the Instant Pot is great for soup and stews, but I appreciate this cookbook for some of its more original recipes, such as those for condiments (chutney anyone?) and desserts (puddings, crisps and cakes). I especially love the Slow-Cooker Granola recipe, which allows me to make the granola for my yogurt without heating up the house in the Summer! And since apple-picking season is right around the corner, I’m going to try to make one of the many baked apples recipes from the book.

Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker is another cookbook with lots of content… and no photos. If you seek inspiration by looking at the pictures of dishes, this is probably not a book for you. But without photos, the author was able to cram 200 great recipes in one fantastic book for anyone looking for cruelty-free slow-cooker recipes.

Still haven’t had enough? Pre-order this Instant Pot vegan cookbook coming out in January 2017!

Instant Pot vegan cookbook: (Pre-order) The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot(Pre-order) The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot

You read it here first!

I cannot comment on the content of this cookbook, but I will be first in line come January to test The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot and tell you all about my experience. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to fully take advantage of your Instant Pot? Check out these great accessories!

The Instant Pot is a wonderful addition to my kitchen! A few additional accessories however are helping me make the best use of it:

  • Spare silicone ring: the silicone ring inside the lid of the Instant Pot is what allows is to create a seal when pressure cooking. However, it also absorbs some of the flavors of the dishes you are cooking. Folks in the Facebook group have tried many tricks to get the smell out, to no avail. The consensus seems to be to buy a spare ring in order to have one for savory dishes, and one for sweet dishes.
  • Tempered glass lid: when using the Instant Pot as a slow cooker, it’s nice to be able to see what’s happening inside the pot without having to open the lid. A glass lid allows for that, and doesn’t come by default with the Instant Pot.
  • Stainless steel steamer: veggies cooked in minutes? That’s one of the perks of pressure cooking. Having a steamer on hand keeps the vegetables out of the cooking liquid, so they turn out steamed and not mushy. Buy yourself a steamer with a handle, or even a steamer basket, for easy removal of the vegetables from the pot.

Instant Pot Silicone Sealing RingInstant Pot Silicone Sealing RingInstant Pot Tempered Glass LidInstant Pot Tempered Glass LidOXO Good Grips Stainless Steel SteamerOXO Stainless Steel Steamer

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Best Homemade Seitan Recipe

Use our best homemade seitan recipe to make a variety of meals!

Best homemade seitan recipe

We’ve tried a few different recipes before coming up with our best homemade seitan recipe. Making homemade seitan is not complicated, it just requires the right ingredients… and a bit of planning.

What is seitan?

If you arrived here looking for the best homemade seitan recipe, I assume you’ve heard of seitan before. Seitan is a great source of protein in a vegan diet, it contains 75g of protein per 100g. As a comparison, 100g of tofu contains only 8g of protein.

Seitan is made with vital wheat gluten. If you are celiac, seitan is definitely not recommended! Otherwise, adding seitan to your diet is a good way of varying protein sources. If you cannot find vital wheat gluten at your local grocery store, it is very easy to find online. We use either Bob’s Red Mill or the vital wheat gluten you find at bulk stores (Bulk Barn or Bulk Nation). The vital wheat gluten by Anthony’s is also great, and at a better price point than Bob’s Red Mill.


You can buy seitan in specialty stores, but it’s usually quite expensive! With a simple homemade seitan recipe such as the one below, you’ll save yourself a lot of money.

Finally, seitan as such is not a meal, it’s the base for a meal. Once you’ve prepared your seitan, you need to cook it! Seitan can be used in stews, stir-frys, as a roast, as breakfast sausages, and in many, many vegan recipes.

How to make homemade seitan

We usually make our seitan in large batches and then freeze it, to be used later. To make homemade seitan, you’ll go through three steps:

  1. Preparing the seitan (5-10 min, a bit more of you make different flavors of seitan)
  2. Cooking the seitan (up to 60 min, depending on the size of the loaf)
  3. Using the seitan in a recipe (depends on the recipe you’re making)

Follow the recipe below or watch our video where we show you our best homemade seitan recipe:

Our seitan recipe will allow you to make one batch of seitan, which you can turn into the following:

  • a roast that you can cook as is afterwards
  • a roast that you can cut into smaller pieces to fry or cook in a stew, or
  • breakfast sausages (we even made sausage rolls once!)

With the recipe, you will make one loaf of homemade seitan.

Print Recipe
Best Homemade Seitan Recipe
Cuisine Vegan Basics
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 60 min
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Cuisine Vegan Basics
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 60 min
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Combine the water, vegetable broth and soy sauce in a sauce pan.
  3. Warm the liquid over medium heat until it steams. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, dried herbs, garlic and onion powder. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  5. Pour one cup of warm broth in the bowl and combine with the dry ingredients.
  6. Using your hands, start kneading the dough. Add more broth as needed, until you get a slightly sticky and elastic dough.
  7. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in a bread pan.
  8. Place the pieces of onion and garlic cloves around the bread pan, and cover the seitan loaf with broth. Keep some of the broth aside to add more as the seitan cooks. Cover the bread pan with foil.
  9. Cook the seitan in the oven for 60 minutes, checking every 15 minutes or so to make sure the loaf is still covered with broth.
Recipe Notes

The seitan loaf can then be used in recipes, or frozen. If you freeze the loaf, divide it into four pieces to make it easier to use in different recipes. We use our seitan as a pizza topping, in stews, to make seitan General Tao, or pan-fried and served with a brown gravy.

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Do you need the Minimalist Baker cookbook? Only if you love quick vegan recipes!

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A Minimalist Baker cookbook review

Minimalist Baker Cookbook: Banana Chocolate Pecan Muffin Recipe
Any serious review of a cookbook from the Minimalist Baker must involve some baking!

As a long-time fan, I rushed to purchase my copy of the Minimalist Baker cookbook, titled Everyday Cooking, as soon as it hit the (virtual) shelves! And after testing a few recipes from the book, I can say that it did not disappoint. Actually, let’s be honest here: this cookbook should be part of any serious vegan cookbook collection. Yes, it’s that good.

In a hurry?

>> Click here to get your copy of this bestselling vegan cookbook now!

Why I love Minimalist Baker recipes

I remember the first recipe I tried from Minimalist Baker: it was a 5-ingredient granola bar recipe that blew my mind in how simple and quick it was, using very common ingredients I had around the house. This was the beginning of a loving relationship with this site and its wonderful recipe author (and incredible food photographer) Dana.

The philosophy behind the Minimalist Baker recipes is simple: they use 10 ingredients or less, require one pot or bowl, and/or can be made in 30 minutes or less. Talk about making it easy for people to adopt a plant-based diet!

Although Dana from the Minimalist Baker does not refer to herself as “vegan”, all her recipes are plant-based and do mention vegan alternatives for non-vegan ingredients (like replacing honey with agave syrup, for example).

What to expect from the Minimalist Baker Everyday Cooking cookbook

Minimalist Baker Everyday CookingMinimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking

The Minimalist Baker cookbook contains 101 plant-based recipes, most of which are also gluten-free or can be easily adapted to be gluten-free.

These are also recipes not available on the web site, so you don’t feel like you are buying a rehash of old content you could be getting for free.

And something else that makes this cookbook stand apart from the competition: all recipes come with their nutritional information! I thought every cookbook had this, but after checking a few of my other vegan cookbooks, I saw that it wasn’t necessarily a standard. I’m not picky about how many calories or grams of fat a dish has, but for folks who are monitoring their diets and intake, it can be really useful information. All the nutritional information can be found at the end of the cookbook.

All recipes in the book are organized in the typical sections, such as breakfast, appetizers, mains and desserts, with a generous offering of soup and salad recipes, as well as tentalizing main dishes.

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Three recipes tested for you from the Minimalist Baker cookbook

As with all my other cookbook reviews, I like to test recipes to give you an honest opinion on the experience and the outcome. I tested three recipes this time: a main dish, a salad and, obviously, something baked!

Wonderful quick vegan recipes for weeknight dinners like the smashed black bean green chili taquitos

Minimalist Baker Cookbook: Smashed Black Bean Green Chili Taquitos recipe
These were so easy to make, they became a weeknight classic at home

I asked my boyfriend to pick a recipe he’d like to try from the cookbook, and he chose the smashed black bean green chili taquitos. He loves spicy food, and this recipe did not disappoint. Although it looked a bit complicated to make these crispy black bean rolls, it was actually surprisingly easy, quick, and the result was amazing. They even re-heat well the following day. We made a basic side-salad, some guacamole, and voilà! A perfect weeknight dinner.

Watch this video for a behind-the-scenes look at our test of the recipe. This was the very first time we tried it, so easy to make you cannot fail.

Simple and tasty meals like this cashew soba noodle salad

Minimalist Baker Cookbook: Cashew Soba Noodle Salad recipe
Nobody said that a salad should be boring… case in point!

This recipe was my pick from the Minimalist Baker cookbook, I selected it based only on the picture. How can you not wanna try this salad, it’s so colorful! Although Dana’s photo is much better than mine, you can see the eye appeal with the picture above.

I don’t think often to include soba noodles in my salads, but I absolutely love them. We used buckwheat soba noodles that you can find quite easily at the grocery store. The recipe also called for cashew butter, but I find that most nut butters are so expensive these days, I used unsalted, plain peanut butter and the result was fantastic. We were left with extra sauce after making the salad, I’m sure we can find other dishes to use it in, such as a pad thai or for seitan skewers.

Salad leftovers also make a great lunch the following day.

And obviously, incredible cookie, cake and muffin recipes such as the banana chocolate pecan muffin

A fair review of the Minimalist Baker cookbook has to include some baking. I’m not a big baker, but I know my way around muffins. So for this review, I tested the banana chocolate pecan muffin recipe (see photo at the beginning of the post). I always have bananas in the freezer, I keep all the ones that are too ripe to eat in a freezer bag and use them for banana bread or muffins.

I’ve tried many, many vegan muffin recipes, not all turn out great but this one was a hit. I brought the extra muffins at work in the morning and they disappeared in no time. It’s amazing how people look at you in disbelief when you tell them the muffins are vegan. These turned out so moist, they rival any ordinary muffin made with eggs. And with the generous chocolate chunks, large pecan pieces, they make fantastic mid-morning snacks.

You’ll want to try the quick easy vegan recipes from the Minimalist Baker cookbook

The verdict is unanimous: if you love vegan cooking and need a reliable source of quick easy vegan recipes, you need to get yourself a copy of the Minimalist Baker cookbook called Everyday Cooking.

Minimalist Baker's Everyday CookingMinimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking

Minimalist Baker Cookbook

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Best Vegan Diet Books

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Three of the Best Vegan Diet Books to Guide Your Food Choices

Best vegan diet books

I think this post on the best vegan diet books out there was long overdue. I had the idea several months ago and it was sitting in my drafts since then. Some ideas come and go, as shinier topics come along (oh, cool recipe to share!), but I think the importance of getting solid information on vegan nutrition still prevails.

The Importance of Learning from Experts about Vegan Nutrition

I get it: everyone eats. And pretty much everyone also has a strong opinion about what food to eat and not to eat. Unfortunately, most opinions are based on personal experiences and food myths that have become prevalent, especially online. Getting the right information about nutrients, food choices and especially supplementation is hard when there is so much misinformation out there!

There are however experts that can advise you on vegan nutrition: they are called registered dieticians or nutritionnists. These are professionnals who have spent years studying nutrition and the impact of nutrients on the human body. These experts also keep their knowledge up to date, as nutrition science evolves as more research is done on how food interacts with the various functions of our body.

It is true that not all dieticians are well-versed in the subtleties of the vegan diet. It is always good to take advice from dieticians that have made it their specialty to study and recommend the best foods for a healthy plant-based diet. And this is exactly the profile of the authors of the best vegan diet books listed below.

Vegan Diet Books, Not Cookbooks

If you are looking for inspiration for tonight’s dinner, I recommend you head over to my review of several of the amazing vegan cookbooks out there instead. This post focuses on the best vegan diet books, books that address basic vegan nutrition questions such as the following:

  • What are plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids and how do they differ from their animal-based counterparts?
  • How can I maximize my absorption of plant-based iron?
  • How much vitamin B12 do I need daily?
  • How do I change my food choices when I am pregnant or breasfeeding?
  • How much protein does one really need?

If you’ve asked yourself these questions, or any question on food choices, nutrients, supplementation and deficiencies, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find answers to your questions (and questions you didn’t even think about asking) in any of the three books on vegan nutrition featured in this post.

The Best Vegan Diet Books to Get You Started on the Right Foot, and Keep You There!

Anyone switching to a vegan diet, and even long-time vegans, can benefit from consulting vegan diet books.

I remember this one discussion in a Facebook forum that left me cringing. The question was simple enough, and does get asked frequently: should I take B12 supplements as a vegan, and if so, how much should I take daily?

The answers could not have been more diverse, conclicting and confusing. Some said yes, some said no. The recommended sources of B12 went from eating veggies without washing them (to get the B12 from the soil) to heavy doses of supplements. One long-term vegan said they never supplemented and were fine. Another said they never supplemented and now have to get daily injections of B12.

How does one make heads or tails of these answers?

I do know many vegans who are well-versed in nutrition and understand how to maintain a healthy vegan diet through their food choices. But how would you know who to believe in a Facebook forum with well-intended folks who might have little or no understanding of vegan diets?

This is why I chose to turn to experts. This is also why I decided to share my list of best vegan diet books with you!

Becoming Vegan: The Best Vegan Diet Book Out There

Best vegan diet books: Becoming VeganBecoming Vegan: The Complete Reference to Plant-Based Nutrition (Comprehensive Edition)

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Before I even considered switching to a vegan diet and lifestyle, I was curious and wanted to learn more on the topic. I asked a friend of mine who was also interested in plant-based nutrition if he had any book to recommend, and this is the book he had me read: Becoming Vegan: The Complete Reference to Plant-Based Nutrition (Comprehensive Edition), by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, who are both registered dieticians with long track records of studying, writing about and helping people follow a healthy plant-based diet.

In my opinion, this is the most comprehensive book on vegan nutrition. Although it can seem a bit technical at first, especially if you are not used to reading about nutrients, the information it contains is so complete, it is a must for any vegan library and anyone wanting to learn why and how to transition into a vegan diet. Think of this book as the ultimate reference guide for healthy plant-based eating.

I must admit, I have not read this book from cover to cover, but it’s the book I crack open every time I have a question about nutrients, especially vegan sources and daily requirements.

Vegan for Her: One of the Best Vegan Diet Books for Women

Best vegan diet books: Vegan for HerVegan for Her: The Woman’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet

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If you are like me, you read nutrition labels on the food that you purchase, most of the time to spot non-vegan ingredients, but also to check for fiber, iron and protein content. Did you know however that the daily percentage, especially for nutrients such as iron, can be misleading? That is because it’s based on an average daily requirement, which does not equal the daily requirement of a man or a women. It’s a number somewhat in between. This is especially true for iron (women need more), calcium (women need more), and protein (women need less, unless they are very active).

This is why I recommend Vegan for Her: The Woman’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet as one of the best vegan diet books. Women will find in this book helpful information on eating a healthy vegan diet, at different stages in their lives. Proper nutrition is always important, but it’s key and changes quite a bit during pregnancy, for example. A woman wanting to make sure she makes the best food choices for her health and her baby’s health can be reassured the information she gets in this book is rock solid.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition: A Practical Vegan Diet Book

Best vegan diet books: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based NutritionThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiot’s Guides)

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Over time, I’ve come to appreciate the Idiot’s Guide (or For Dummies) series as well-written and well-researched books. If reading technical nutrition information is not your cup of tea, I recommend buying the book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiot’s Guides).

While this book also contains recipes and practical, day-to-day information for vegans (how to spot non-vegan ingredients when shopping), in the appendices, you’ll find summarized nutrition information. It does not however explain the “why” behind healthy and not-so-healthy choices in a plant-based diet.

If you prefer simply getting the recommendations without knowing all the science and explanations behind these recommendations, this is the book for you.

You can understand now why these three books make my list of best vegan diet books. I regularly turn to them for advice, especially when confronted with doubts about whether or not I eat sufficiently diverse foods to cover my nutritional needs. Sometimes, it’s good to have a reminder about certain needs our bodies have to reintroduce food items into our daily menus.

Vegan Fried Chicken Recipe

A Tasty Vegan Fried Chicken Recipe with a Southern Twist!

Vegan fried chicken recipe

I think this post will blow your mind, and that’s not just because I’m sharing the perfect vegan fried chicken recipe. This post actually marks the beginning of video recipes here at easyveganlife.com, something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

I’ll be really honest: I’m OK with a camera, and very comfortable writing. But video editing seemed so complicated, when I filmed a first video for the blog, I simply posted it as is, and the result is, well, pretty boring. But my boyfriend, a man of many talents, once used to have a few YouTube channels of his own, and we decided it might be fun to film our next dinner preparation, then create a video to share with you.

The result, in my humble opinion, rocks! And even better: it showcases a fantastic recipe I’ve been wanting to share with you.

Vegan Fried Chicken: Is That Even Allowed?

I know, right? Obviously, there is no chicken in this recipe, as vegan food is always made without animal products. But the base of the recipe is a product so close in texture and taste to real chicken that even the hardcore meat eaters will not believe what they are eating is vegan!

If you have never tried Gardein products, you are missing on a few practical and tasty options to quickly build easy vegan meals. Yes, this is processed food, so I wouldn’t eat it three times a day every day. But every now and then, we like to grab a bag of Gardein as a base for our spaghetti sauce, shepherd’s pie, or in this case, vegan southern fried chicken. As a bonus, Gardein products are fortified, so vegans who do not take any supplements can, for example, get a nice little dose of B12 through their Gardein meatless product.

To make the vegan fried chicken recipe, we used Gardein’s Teriyaki Chick’n Strips (and didn’t use the teriyaki sauce), but you can also use the Gardein Chick’n Scallopini as a base. You can find these products in the frozen section of your supermarket (we find it in the freezer for the natural products). If your supermarket doesn’t carry this product, don’t hesitate to let them know they should, and you can order the product online in the mean time.

Gardein Seasoned Chickn ScallopiniGardein Seasoned Chick’n ScallopiniGardein Teriyaki Chicken StripsGardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips

Another important product you’ll need to have on hand are rice paper wrappers. The rice paper wrappers are used to roll the vegan chicken mixture (just like you would a sushi), and when breaded and fried, their texture becomes very similar to fried chicken skin (without the cholesterol and the cruelty!!).

We’ve used both round and square rice paper wrappers, and we find the square ones easier to manipulate. These can be found in supermarkets (in the international section) or specialty grocery stores that carry sushi-making products. If you cannot find them, you can also order rice paper wrappers online.

Rice Paper Wrappers (Square)Rice Paper Wrappers (Square)Rice Paper Wrappers (Round)Rice Paper Wrappers (Round)

Print Recipe
Vegan Fried Chicken Recipe
A sure bet for the entire family, this vegan fried chicken recipe combines a mix of spices that give it a Southern twist with fresh ingredients and plant-based Gardein chick'n strips.
Vegan fried chicken recipe
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 15 min
Servings
portions
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 15 min
Servings
portions
Ingredients
Vegan fried chicken recipe
Instructions
Preparation
  1. Mix one cup of flour with the liquid in a small bowl to make a batter (not too thick). Set aside.
  2. Mix the salt, chili powder, sage, paprika and cayenne pepper together, divide the mixture in two and set aside.
  3. Combine one half of the spice mix with the remaining cup of flour. Set aside on a plate.
  4. Add the chicken strips, remaining spice mix, chopped parsley and coriander, mushroom and green onions to a mixing bowl.
  5. Using a fork, break down the strips and combine with the other ingredients.
Making the rolls
  1. Warm the cup of water in a large pan until small bubbles start appearing then turn the heat off. The pan should be large enough for the rice paper wrappers to lie flat inside.
  2. While holding two corners of a rice paper wrapper, soak the wrapper for 10 seconds or until it starts softening, then carefully lift it out of the water and turn it on the other side for another 10 seconds. Lift the wrapper out of the water and set it flat on a cutting board.
  3. Scoop two soup spoons (or one and a half for round wrappers) of chicken mix onto the center bottom part of the wrapper. Shape the mixture into a log.
  4. Fold the wrapper over the log once, then fold the right and left sides of the wrapper towards the center.
  5. Roll the log on itself along the wrapper, as you would roll a burrito or sushi. Set aside.
  6. Repeat steps 7 to 10 for the remaining wrappers.
  7. Roll each roll into the flour and spice mix. Don't forget to dip each extremity so the entire roll is covered in a light dusting of flour.
  8. Dip each roll in the batter, including extremities, then roll again in the flour, also including extremeties. Set aside to let the batter and flour harden.
Frying the rolls
  1. Remove the water from the pan, dry the pan and add the oil. Heat over medium-high.
  2. Using tongs, gently place the rolls into the oil. You may want to cook the rolls into two batches to avoid crowding the pan.
  3. Cook the rolls until the wrapper becomes light brown and crispy, approximately 2.5 min per side.
  4. When ready, transfer the fried rolls to a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Repeat the frying process with remaining rolls.
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Easy Homemade Vegan Cheese

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Trying A Few Easy Homemade Vegan Cheese Recipes: I’ll Never Buy These at the Store Again!

Easy homemade vegan cheese

In late January, my boyfriend and I attended a nut cheese workshop hosted by Fauxmagerie Zengarry during which we were taught a few easy homemade vegan cheese recipes. And we were both really surprised how “easy” it actually is to make homemade vegan cheese. I guess we were initially intimidated by the idea, having never tried to make our own. But no longer. After learning these recipes, we will never use store-bought vegan cheese again (well, except for convenience and to encourage local vegan cheese makers, obviously!).

Easy Homemade Vegan Cheese Workshop by Zengarry

The Fauxmagerie Zengarry is the brainchild of Lynda Turner, a scientist who also trained in plant-based nutrition with the T. Colin Campbell Foundation through Cornell University. Lynda operates Zengarry from her home in Eastern Ontario, Canada. To share her love of vegan cheese and show people just how easy it is to make vegan cheese, Lynda offers nut cheese workshops in Ottawa and Toronto. Exceptionally, she offered a workshop in Montreal and the response was amazing, it sold out to an excited crowd of vegans and non vegans, all anxious to learn more about making easy homemade vegan cheese.

The workshop is not hands-on, but more of a demonstration format. We were a big group in the Montreal workshop, but we still all were able to taste all the vegan cheeses Lynda showcased, most of which were made on the spot. Most non-fermented cheese recipes took on average 5-10 minutes to make, if you can believe it! What? Cashew cream cheese that tastes amazing, made in only 10 minutes (not counting the soaking time, obviously)? Yes, it’s that easy!

Lynda started the workshop by letting us taste some of her own creations, including what I can only describe as the most amazing vegan blue cheese I’ve ever tasted. Being French Canadian, I grew up with cheese an important part of every meal, usually as its own course. And blue cheese, although not always very accessible to those who taste it for the very first time (it’s very potent), was one of my favorites. I hadn’t had blue cheese since becoming vegan, and I’m not sure I was ever going to taste the sharp, creamy texture, followed by the tingly sensation of the mold as it hits your tongue. Well, I was wrong. As far as I can tell, the Zengarry blue cheese has not hit the market yet, but when it does, it will fly off the shelves in no time. it’s just that good.

During the workshop, we got to taste and learn about making the following:

  • Cashew cream cheese
  • Cashew and tofu ricotta
  • Tofu feta
  • Almond parmesan
  • Sour cream
  • Tzatziki (not a cheese per se, but a yogourt-based Greek sauce)
  • Rejuvelac (OK, we did not taste this, we only smelled this liquid that is at the base of any fermented cheese)
  • Basic cashew cheese
  • Cachew brie
  • Chèvre
  • Artichoke dip
  • Brie bites
  • Stuffed pasta shells

Homemade Vegan Cheese Recipes: the Miyoko Cookbook

Artisan Vegan Cheese CookbookArtisan Vegan Cheese Cookbook

I can understand that making your way to Ontario or Quebec might not be possible (although you’re missing out on an amazing workshop!). So what’s a vegan to do if they wanted to start making their own vegan cheese? My recommendation would be to buy the book Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner. Ask the vegan community online about the best vegan cheese out there, and people are likely to answer “Miyoko”. She sells her own line of vegan cheeses, and also published this book with enough easy homemade vegan cheese recipes to keep you busy for months! Not only is the book a great source of easy vegan cheese recipes, it also explains some of the basic stuff you need to know, such as what is rejuvelac and why you need to know about this liquid if you want to make fermented cheese.

Making my Own Easy Homemade Vegan Cheese

Now the true test after a workshop is making the recipes you learned on your own. And that’s just what my boyfriend and I did a few weekends ago, with, I am proud to say, some pretty awesome results! We decided to make cashew and tofu ricotta, and tofu feta. Not counting the soaking time (for the cashews, and the feta once in the brine), I’d estimate that it took us about 40 minutes to make both recipes… dishes included 😉

Easy homemade vegan cheese: tofu feta

Easy Vegan Tzatziki Recipe

Easy vegan tzatziki recipe: prepare this traditional Greek sauce in a few minutes with simple ingredients!

I asked Lynda at Fauxmagerie Zengarry if I could share one of her recipes with my blog readers, and she said I could tell you about her easy vegan tzatziki recipe. As mentioned before, tzatziki is not a cheese, but a Greek yogourt-based sauce you can enjoy on baked potatoes, in a vegan souvlaki pita, or with Gardein faux-fish filets.

The tzatziki was part of the non-fermented (almost-instant) recipes we got to experiment during the workshop. We tasted the result after everything was whipped together, and it was already good. But after refrigerating it for a few hours, the flavors really blended together and it is oh so delicious!

This recipe could also be made with soaked cashews for a soy-free version.

Ingredients

Easy vegan tzatziki recipe: you only need a few ingredients to make vegan tzatziki!
Only a few ingredients are needed to make vegan tzatziki
  • 1 package of firm silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 field cucumber peeled, seeded and grated
  • dill or mint, chopped finely (optional)

Directions

  1. Put the tofu, vinegar, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and mix until smooth.
  2. Add garlic, olive oil, and mix again in the food processor. Transfer the mix in a bowl.
  3. Grate the cucumber onto several layers of paper towel or a clean dish towel. Once it’s all grated, squeeze the cucumber inside the paper towel to get out as much moisture as you can.
  4. Add the cucumber to the tofu mixture and mix. I also added the dill at this point. Season with pepper.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before using.
Easy vegan tzatziki recipe
Grate the cucumber onto a few sheets of paper towel
Easy vegan tzatziki recipe
Squeeze the water out of the cucumber before adding to the tofu mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have fun making your own easy homemade vegan cheese!

North Face Thermoball Jacket Review

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Synthetic Insulation and Style: A North Face Thermoball™ Jacket Review

North Face Thermoball Jacket Review

I’ve recently purchased quite a bit of outdoor gear for a trip in March 2016 to the base camp of mount Everest, and I thought it might be helpful to describe my experience using the gear, starting with this North Face Thermoball jacket review.

Admittedly, I’m looking for very performant equipment, as I trek the Himalayas for 17 days, but most of the gear I purchased is versatile enough to be used at home as well, for winter activities, like snowshoeing, or even walking the dog 😉

Disclaimer: Our little group of 15 trekkers going to the Base Camp of Everest is sponsored by an independent North Face boutique in Montreal. The owner has generously offered us discounts on some of his merchandise, and has provided much needed advice about the gear we would need for such an adventure.

What is the North Face Thermoball™ Jacket?

The North Face Thermoball Women's JacketThe North Face Thermoball Women’s Jacket

The North Face Thermoball jacket is a synthetic jacket that uses an insulation technology called PrimaLoft®. The jacket itself is fitted and has a full zipper at the front. You can buy a Thermoball with or without a hoodie. Mine is black, but Thermoball jackets come in a wide range of colors, including this luminous pink!

Before getting into the technical details of PrimaLoft, I’d like to point out that, while this jacket is extremely versatile, it was never designed to be waterproof or windproof. I read a few negative comments left online from people who bought the jacket and were disappointed because it did not fare well as a ski jacket, or in heavy rain. No surprise there, obviously. However, if you are looking for an insulating layer under your hardshell, or a jacket to keep you warm in moderate winter conditions, then the Thermoball is something you should look into.

uses an insulation technology called PrimaLoft®. The jacket itself is fitted and has a full zipper at the front. You can buy a Thermoball with or without a hood. Mine looks exactly like the one in the picture, but Thermoball jackets come in a wide range of colors.

Now, if you were curious about some of the properties of PrimaLoft, here is a short video on the topic:

My North Face Thermoball Jacket Review

I’ve had my North Face Thermoball jacket for a few months now, and wear it regularly on outings, whether I’m walking up the steep streets of my neighborhood with my backpack, or snowshoeing with the dogs. I’ve tested it as an insulating layer under a hardshell, as well as on its own, in temperatures varying from 0°C (32°F) to -15°C (5°F). This North Face Thermoball jacket review is therefore based on my personal experience with the gear; others might have had different experiences with it.

Fit

I bought a medium, and the fit is true to size. The sleeves are long enough to cover my arms when I extend them and the inside of the sleeve fits snug around my wrist thanks to a hidden elastic band. The jacket feels a bit short in length, but this is normal for a sports jacket (and I am tall). The style is an active fit, which means the jacket is close to the body. However, I am able to wear two layers under it, if need be (a base layer, and a thin polar fleece), with some room to spare.

Weight

When you first pull it off the hanger, the jacket feels surprisingly light, so light in fact that you start doubting its ability to keep you warm. On the North Face web site, it states that the average weight is 328 g (11.57 oz). Putting the jacket on for the first time feels strange, especially if you are used to heavy winter parkas.

Insulation and Warmth

Even though it felt a bit thin at first, I was able to wear the Thermoball jacket for outdoors activities on its own with only a base layer in temperatures going down to -5°C (23°F) and with a thin polar fleece on top of the base layer in temperatures going down to -10°C (14°F). When it’s colder, or there is a cold wind, you really need to wear a hardshell on top of the jacket to feel warm.

North Face Thermoball Jacket Review: Testing on a Hike!
With my North Face Thermoball jacket, on a hike with the dogs!

Breathability

This is the only part of this North Face Thermoball jacket review where I have some negative comments to make. For medium-intensity exercises, it will do the job, but after an intense training, I’ve found the inside of the jacket to be slightly wet. If you are training outside but have access to a place to warm up afterwards (home, the cottage, the car), this breathability issue shouldn’t concern you too much because the jacket dries up really quickly and doesn’t retain moisture. However, if you are in the backcountry and your resting place in a tent, this could be a problem. For the trip to the Base Camp of Everest, I’m less worried, as we stop for lunch and evenings in lodges along the trek. Nevertheless, this is something to keep in mind.

Quality

I have yet to put this jacket though the test of a long trek, or through several washes, so I cannot comment at this point on its durability. North Face offers a lifetime warranty on the jacket, which makes me feel confident about quality issues down the road. The exterior is nylon ripstop, so it should be able to withstand a decent level of abuse without ripping apart.

Cool Feature

Remember the old K-Way rain jacket that could be packed inside its front pocket? Well, the Thermoball jacket also lets you pack it neatly, within its left-hand pocket. This also goes to show you the compressibility of the jacket, something that is quite important when packing space is limited. I learned about this while researching the jacket’s features for this post, and I thought it was pretty cool!

North Face Thermoball Jacket Review - Left pocket
What’s this?
North Face Thermoball Jacket Review - Jacket inside pocket
My entire jacket stuffed inside the pocket… Goes to show you how compressible this material really is!

My Recommendation

As an insulating layer, or a warm jacket for activities in mild winter weather, I believe the North Face Thermoball jacket is a good purchase. I will be taking mine on the trek to the Base Camp of Mount Everest and will probably end up wearing it regularly, unless we find ourselves in unusually wet or cold conditions.

The North Face Thermoball Full Zip - Women'sThe North Face Thermoball Full Zip – Women’sThe North Face ThermoBall Hoodie - Women'sThe North Face ThermoBall Hoodie – Women’sThe North Face Thermoball Full Zip - Men'sThe North Face Thermoball Full Zip – Men’sThe North Face Thermoball Hoodie - Men'sThe North Face Thermoball Hoodie – Men’s

Romantic Gifts for Vegans

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14 Great Romantic Gifts for Vegans on Valentine’s Day

Romantic gifts for vegans

I hadn’t planned for such a long time away from the blog, but I love that 2016 starts with a top-ten list of romantic gifts for vegans!

I’ve been itching to write again for a while now, but I have another personal project that is keeping me busy mornings, evenings and weekends, leaving me with little extra time to blog. I will write about this project soon, because it’s pretty cool, but for now let’s focus on finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone.

I know that Valentine’s Day has received bad press for being too commercial, less and less about love. I agree that you cannot show your appreciation for your significant other only one day out of the year, love is all about these little daily gestures you do for one another. But there’s nothing wrong with spoiling your vegan boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband a little bit on February 14. And boy have I found some really great vegan Valentine’s Day gifts! Let’s get started.

My Selection of Romantic Gifts for Vegans

Romantic gifts for vegans: raw vegan chocolatesBox of raw vegan chocolates

 

14. Raw Vegan Chocolate Box

No list of romantic gifts for vegans would be complete without chocolate. This is beautiful box of 24 chocolates that are not only vegan, but also raw. And the best part is that you get to choose from 11 yummy flavors including dark chocolate with figs, ginger, chili and black pepper, dark hazelnut praline, dark and white chocolate with strawberry, almond and vanilla, to name only a few. You can contact the seller to ask for gluten-free or nut-free chocolate, although they are made in a kitchen where ingredients containing gluten and nuts are used. There are plenty of other options in this store if you want a larger or smaller box, or even heart-shaped chocolates. Perfect for the sweet-tooth vegan in your life!

Romantic gifts for vegans: vegan massage oilEros aphrodisiaque massage oil

13. Eros Vegan Massage Oil

My boyfriend and I love giving each other massages. More often than not, it is a great way to reconnect and relax after a long day at work. Massages can also be very sensual, and a small amount of massage oil will not only facilitate the movements, it will also rehydrate the skin and release a therapeutic aroma.

This oil combines floral South African bourbon rose geranium essential oil with the aroma of vanilla and cacao for a truly romantic experience. The base is organic grapeseed, apricot kernel, sunflower, and jojoba oils to nourish the skin without leaving it feeling greasy.

Don’t forget: with massage oil, a little goes a long way!

 

Romantic gifts for vegans: vegan bath bombsVegan Bath Bombs (2 x Strawberry, 2 x Dozen Roses, 2 x Valentine Cookies)

12. Vegan Bath Bombs

Another great way to spend quality time with that special someone is to take a relaxing bath together. You could go for vegan bubble bath, but why not try these exquisite bath bombs instead. I love bath bombs, you drop them in the water and they fizz away, releasing their aroma and essential oils.

I read somewhere that LUSH cosmetics was the original inventor of bath bombs, but these are pretty much available anywhere now. This gift set includes six bombs that come in three sexy flavors: strawberry (while you’re sipping champagne), dozen roses (you can combine with actual rose petals in the bath for a voluptuous effect) and valentine cookie (in case you’re into something sweet).

 

Romantic gifts for vegans: soy candleWalk in the forest park soy candle

 

11. Walk in the Forest Park Soy Candle

Romantic vegan gifts can also be something you buy to create an ambiance for a wonderful vegan dinner at home. Afterall, who really wants to fight the crowds and lineups in busy restaurants. And nothing says ambiance like scented candles. One has to be careful though, because some scented candles can overwhelme your senses, but I’m pretty sure this one will do the opposite. It’s a soy-based candle that releases a gentle smell of fir trees and fresh dirt after the rain. You know that smell, right? You can light it and remenisce of that long walk you took together at the park one summer evening, hand in hand, gazing into each others eyes. You’re thinking what I’m thinking, right? Dinner just turned into a picnic in the living room, sitting in front of the fireplace 😉 Now that’s romantic!

Romantic gifts for vegans: vegan leather whipVegan leather whip

10. Vegan Leather Whip

There’s nothing wrong with THAT kind of romance, a little playful time between two consenting vegans can be the highlight of an evening. Obviously, you would not want to include real leather into the picture, as you understand very well all the violence behind the making of animal skin into shoes, jackets and accessories. This seller has many toys for the adventurous vegan, including this very affordable vegan leather whip. The material used is called Lorica, it’s a microfiber vegan leather that is very durable, while being soft and enjoyable to the touch (you’d want that, right?). Go ahead and check out the store, I won’t tell anyone 😉

 

Romantic gifts for vegans: "Eat me, not animals" pantiesEat me, not animals panties

9. “Eat Me, Not Animal” Panties

This is definitely a gift for vegans with a sense of humor. I laughed so hard when I came across this item, showed it to my boyfriend and he also thought it was clever.

These panties are available in black or in white as a thong. If you have a non-vegan boyfriend in your life that you are trying to convince to adopt a vegan diet, maybe this pair of panties is just the way to go about it 😉

Garanteed smiles!

 

 

 

Romantic gifts for vegans: vegan ringVegan ring

8. Vegan Ring

I have a personal story related to this very vendor. When I started dating my vegan boyfriend, I wanted to find a gift that would remind us that it’s veganism that brought us together (we met through a local Facebook group for vegans – but that’s another story!). I found this aluminum ring on Etsy and ordered two: a wider one for my boyfriend, and a narrow one for me. I did not need to know his exact ring size, because the ring is open and will adjust to the size of the finger.

I also asked the vendor for a favor: to etch the date that we had our first date on the inside of the ring, which he kindly did at no extra charge.

We both love our vegan rings, they remind us of the strong ethical bond that brought us and keeps us together.

Romantic gifts for vegans: heart necklaceHeart-Shaped Vegan Necklace

 

7. Heart-Shaped “Vegan” Necklace

Maybe you’re not ready for a ring yet, and you feel it would make too strong of a statement. There are plenty of other jewelry options on Etsy, including this beautiful heart-shaped necklace with the inscription “vegan” inside. The heart is in recycled sterling, so it’s even better: your gift is unique AND environmentally-friendly gift!

Check out the other necklace styles in the store, as there is a great selection of either animal-shaped or rectangle “tag-like” pendants sporting all kinds of messages about veganism and respecting animals.

Romantic gifts for vegans: his and hers pillow casesCaptured by your love – his and hers pillow cases

 

6. Captured By Your Love Pillow Cases

Now how cute are these? A set of his and hers pillow cases with one featuring Spiderman, and the other, a damsel in distress saved by the web! The pillow cases are in cotton and fit most standard and queen-size pillows (not included in the purchase).

There are several other cute his and hers pillow case designs in this store, but if you have a vegan superhero in your life, I think this set is a winner! In black and red on a white background, they can fit pretty much any decor. And how sweet is this quote from the site: “I am captured by your love and enticed by your tenderness. You’ve shown me someone who can face the world and you’re not afraid to be real, and most of all I love the way you live life with zest and zeal!” Awwww!

Romantic gifts for vegans: vegan chocolate trufflesOrganic vegan chocolate truffles

 

5. Vegan Chocolate Truffles

I know I already have chocolate in this list of romantic gifts for vegans, but these are vegan truffles! These truffles are not only made rich with the use of organic coconut milk, they are also super healthy and do not contain any allergens. Instead of using refined sugars, the chocolates are sweetened with Medjool dates (my favorite).

And to top it off, because these truffles are already all that, you can count on the ingredients all being organic, GMO-free, and fairtrade. Woah! Indulging never felt and tasted so good 🙂

Romantic gifts for vegans: heart-shaped cookie cutterPersonalized heart-shaped cookie cutter

 

4. Personalized Heart-Shaped Cookie Cutter

If you love to bake, and want to treat your loved one with delicious vegan cookies, here’s a fun way to make them unforgettable! This personalized heart-shaped cookie cutter will enable you to embed your name and the name of your vegan sweetie in your cookies. For a one-time gift, it can seem a bit expensive, but if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with your vegan fiancé, this item can be easily reused to make personalized vegan cookies as parting gifts for the guests at your wedding.

How’s that for thinking ahead?

 

Romantic gifts for vegans: vegan apronVegan apron

3. Vegan Apron

So you have both decided it would be smarter to stay in and cook for Valentine’s Day and avoid the pricy option of dining out. Good for you! A romantic dinner at home has many advantages: no reservations needed, no noisy dining neighbors, no wait for the staff to finally bring out that lukewarm meal you ordered 40 minutes ago, and you can take as much time as you want to eat.

But no respectable vegan chef would chance dirtying a special shirt with tomato sauce splatter or oil from that sauté. To cook with a purpose and stay clean in the process, I find this vegan apron to be particularly clever. Even better if the chef has this apron on, and nothing but his boxers! Now that’s vegan love.

 

Romantic gifts for vegans: organic vegan popsYummy Earth Valentine Organic Pops

2. Valentine’s Organic Vegan Pops

Maybe you’d like to spread a little Valentine’s Day cheer around school or the office? Why not get this bag of 30 organic vegan pops, with a Valentine’s sticker for each pop! The pops are made with organic fruit juice and are about as healthy as candy can be. They are made in a dairy and tree nut and peanut-free facility, so they are safe for even the most restrictive environments. Flavors include pomegranate pucker, wet-face watermelon, strawberry smash, goofy grape, very cherry.

They had me at wet-face watermelon. Yum!

 

 

Romantic gifts for vegans: heart-shaped doggie treatsVegan Dog Treats

1. Vegan Heart-Shaped Doggy Treats

What if your Valentine this year stands on four paws and gives you unrelenting love, no matter what you are wearing on the date? That’s quite OK, but it doesn’t mean you cannot treat your furry friend with something special. Here is a heart-shaped box of vegan dog treats, guaranteed to satisfy the sweet tooth of your canine companion. These are handmade treats with human ingredients. They contain no soy, no salt, no sugar, no artificial colors, no artifial flavors, no byproducts and no preservatives.

The box contains about two dozen hearts.

How to Eat Vegan While on Vacation

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Follow These Easy Tips on How to Eat Vegan While on Vacation!

How to eat vegan while on vacation: tips from my trip to Croatia

At the beginning of October, I left for a 10-day trip to Croatia and, although I did manage, I wish someone would have given me a few hints on how to eat vegan while on vacation. It’s not rocket science, but it does require some creativity and a bit of preparation.

Download the best app to eat vegan while on vacation: Happy Cow!

How to eat vegan while on vacation: the Happy Cow app is your friend!
The Happy Cow app interface on the iPhone

Before you leave, whatever your destination, I strongly recommend you download the Happy Cow app. A companion to the Happy Cow website, the app is much more useful when trying to find the location of a restaurant or food store. The app lets you search for nearby options, either exclusively vegan, vegetarian, or places that have vegan or vegetarian options on the menu.

During my trip to Croatia, I found three vegan restaurants using Happy Cow: one in Split, one in Zadar, and one in Zagreb. I never ended up eating at the restaurant in Zadar, as it was closed because of weather (it’s an outside patio facing the sea, and closed on rainy days). However the meals I had at the other two were wonderful.

You have to pay to download the app, but the map feature is worth the price in itself. In Split, the restaurant was hidden in a back alley and I would have never found it if not for the map. I had to trust that I was going in the right direction as I stepped away from the busy center and found myself in tiny pedestrian streets.

How to eat vegan while on vacation: the daily menu at Makrovega in Split, Croatia
I used Happy Cow to discover vegan restaurants on my trip, such as Makrovega in Split. This daily menu was approximately CAD $15 and delicious! A great find.

If you use the app and visit some of the restaurants, do write reviews, because as more people do so, the information will become more accurate and more helpful for other vegan travelers.

After using Happy Cow during my vacation, I also started using it for out-of-town trips, with the same great results. I get to discover and test vegan restaurants everywhere I go!

Bring fall-back protein options to eat vegan while traveling

I had anticipated not always having enough protein options while eating out during my trip in Croatia, so I had packed a few bags of almonds. They ended up being very practical, I ate the entire bag, but I wish I would have thought about bringing a few more protein options for the sake of diversity.

In addition to bringing a variety of nuts, pack other food items that will not require refrigeration: vegan jerky, vegan protein bars, vegan nutritional shake powder, and even peanut butter! This last option makes me smile as I write this, because as much as peanut butter is a staple in North America, the darn thing is impossible to find in Europe. They have all kinds of tasty spreads (jams, butter, caramel, chocolate) but no peanut butter. So if like me you are used to starting the day with a few P&J toasts, bringing a small peanut butter jar is a great idea.

 Raw Mixed Nuts Vegan GF Jerky Strips NuGo Dark Protein Bar Vega Nutritional Shake Earth Balance PBIn non-vegan restaurants, look at side-dishes on the menu

 

Eating Vegan on Vacation is Easier with Your Own Kitchen!

How to eat vegan while on vacation: rent a place with a kitchen!
Our little patio with a great view of the mountains in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Having breakfast there was wonderful!

When I first arrived in Dubrovnik, in the South of Croatia, I had rented a small studio with a basic kitchen and, what I would discover upon arriving, a patio with a stunning view of the mountains. I know that a lot of people, when they travel, want to take a break from their work and daily routine, which includes cooking, but I really enjoy making my own food, or at least having the option to make my own food when I feel like it. I usually ended up having breakfast at the studio, and ate there as well on a few evenings. You can use the Happy Cow app to locate grocery stores near by (or ask the owner of the place where you are staying).

All you need in a rental with kitchen is a fridge, a small stove top, basic utensil and cooking tools, as well as some dishes. It’s really a bonus if the place also happens to provide essentials such as oil, salt & pepper, but most place won’t, so plan to either buy in small quantities, or bring from home.

If you are traveling on a budget, hostels will most likely have a communal kitchen. This is a great way to save on meals, make sure you eat vegan while on vacation, and who knows… You might end up crossing paths with fellow traveling vegans! Another option would be to rent a room in an existing house through Airbnb, it would be cheaper than renting the entire place and most people will give you access to their kitchen.

If you are worried about preparing your vegan meals in a kitchen where meat is still being cooked, check out the site Vegvisits where you can rent places to stay and kitchens to use with local vegetarians and vegans. I heard about this site earlier this year, and I’ve never used the service so I’m not sure how easy it is to finds hosts anywhere around the world, but it’s definitely worth a looking into.

How to Eat Vegan in Non-Vegan Restaurants Abroad

The strategies when dealing with non-vegan restaurants while traveling will be the same you’d apply at home, with two exceptions:

  1. You will be presented with local dishes you might not recognize
  2. Menus might not be available in English, so non-vegan ingredients will be difficult to identify

No panic, this is quite normal, we travel to experience new cultures and customs! First, take a deep breath. Second, look for dishes that will most likely be plant-based, like side-dishes (rice, veggies, etc.). Although you are not guaranteed that these were, for example, cooked using oil and not butter, they at least start with key ingredients that fit with a vegan diet.

Before you leave, it is always a good idea to write down a few words and their translation to make it easier to navigate foreign menus. Also, you might be able to find tools that will help you explain your dietary restrictions to the staff at the restaurant in the local language. Attempts to express yourself in the local language are usually well perceived, and most people will want to help you (especially in Croatia, the folks I met all over the country were some of the nicest people).

In the end, the most important thing to remember is that traveling will require us to step out of our comfort zone but in the end, we should always try to make it fun and memorable. Happy travels!

10 Unique Vegan T-Shirt Designs

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Vegan T-Shirt Designs to Wear Your Convictions with Style!

Vegan t-shirt designs: 10 unique designs to wear your convictions with style

You’ve seen the classic vegan t-shirt designs over and over. You want to stand proud of your convictions and wear them for everyone to see, but you would never be caught dead wearing a “Kale Yeah I’m Vegan” t-shirt. Well, this post of for you. The good news is that there are so many truly original vegan t-shirt designs out there, it was really hard to pick only ten!

10 Unique Vegan T-Shirt Designs

10. Cows Love Vegans!

Vegan t-shirt designs: cows love vegans!Cows love Vegans! T-shirt

My first find was this really funny t-shirt: how cute is that cow! This design is available in several styles and colors, both for men and women. You don’t care for another white t-shirt? No problem, you can order this shirt in bright orange with long sleeves!

I think that turning cows into sympathetic characters goes a long way when you are trying to let people know that these beautiful animals are also sentient beings that deserve to be treated with respect.

The artwork designer has a bit of a sense of humor. For every shirt sold, he will consider not eating a burger that day. Why not flood him with requests for this funny shirt so he reconsiders his meal choices permanently? One can only hope!

9. Vegan Chick

Vegan t-shirt designs: vegan chickVegan Chick 2 Tshirt

This is an adorable design for the vegan ladies. Make an affirmation of your vegan identity while giving people a chance to smile at the bright-eyed, innocent, and sweet lady chick in the design. For any cool and stylish vegan girl, this is a great shirt to wear casually.

This is another design that can be ordered in various styles and colors. I think the black & white t-shirt brings out the colors in the design, but you can order this shirt with the sleeves in a multitude of bright colors as well, or even as a short-sleeved shirt.

The store has a multitude of other “chick” designs based on profession or interest. I even found a camping chick shirt! Hmm, maybe I could get a vegan camping chick shirt? Now that would be unique!

8. Say “Tofu”

Vegan t-shirt designs: say "tofu"Women’s Say Tofu T-Shirt in Blue

Here’s one of my favorite funny vegan t-shirts: it replaces the classic “say cheese” with “say tofu”, while a cute penguin holding a camera seems to be ready to shoot a picture! This design caught my attention because although it does not say “vegan”, it’s a reminder of how dairy products are embedded in our lives and traditions.

Although the t-shirt model shown is for women, there is a t-shirt for men with the same design (same price!), and you can also find this t-shirt in a variety of colors. There is however only one style available.

I like the idea of replacing “say cheese” by “say tofu” when we take photos, as you’ll have everyone displaying a sexy pout instead of a forced grin!

 

7. Thanksgiving Shirt – Don’t Eat Me

Vegan t-shirt designs: Thanksgiving "Don't eat me"Thanksgiving – DON’T EAT ME t-shirt

As soon as we hit September, it’s really only a few weeks until Thanksgiving! For vegans, Thanksgiving can be a stressful time, not only as we are reminded that 45 million turkeys will be killed for this holiday only, but also as we try to navigate dinner invitations with family and friends who do not share our lifestyle.

This cute vintage looking t-shirt is a perfect reminder to the omnivores around us that turkeys (heck, all animals for that matter) do not want to die. With the words “Don’t eat me”, the message comes from the perspective of the animal and is quite powerful.

If you do not want a black t-shirt, I have seen other colors by searching around the store.

 

6. Periodic Table of Vegan

Vegan t-shirt designs: periodic table of veganPeriodic Table of Vegan T-Shirt

I’m a bit of a nerd (love The Big Bang Theory show!!), so when I saw this t-shirt, not only did I know I had to include it in the list, but I also ordered one for myself! The design is quite clever, as it recreates the regular periodic table of elements (you know, the one you had to study in chemistry class) but with its own legend and each element replaced with a vegan food. For example, white elements are vegan staples and Ni (normally stands for Nickel) is Nutritional Yeast in this table. On the site, you can see a close-up of the table.

With this ingenious t-shirt design, you never have to answer the dreaded question “but what do you eat?” again!

 

5. Friends, Not Food

Vegan t-shirt designs: friends not food emojiFriends Not Food with Animal Emoji Faces

OK, the “friends not food” tagline has been overused in vegan t-shirt designs, but I liked this design because it uses emoticons you find on your smartphone to depict the animals that people typically do not consider “friends”, while still including our typical “friends”, the dog and the cat.

This t-shirt is also available for men, and both the women and men styles are in black. I like that proceeds from the sale of this t-shirt will go towards the annual VegFest in Guelph, Ontario (September 20, 2015). Hurry up to not only get yourself this great conversation starter, but also to support one of the many vegan festivals popping up world wide. These festivals do make a difference in getting people to rethink their lifestyle (it’s not just vegans who attend). A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a guy who decided to become vegetarian after attending the Montreal Vegan Festival, and he is now considering become vegan!

4. Real Men Chop Onions

Vegan t-shirt designs: real men chop onionsReal Men Chop Onions T-Shirt

This is one of my favorite designs because I guess it hits close to home. I love cooking, and so does my boyfriend, who is also vegan. But the one part of prep that always makes me cringe is chopping the onions (and let’s be honest here: onions are in everything!). My eyes are really sensitive and they burn when I chop onions, even the mildest ones! So when we cook together, I’ll ask my boyfriend (nicely, with a big smile) if he can “take care of the onions”. And although chopping onions also makes him tear up, he’ll do it.

So if you have a man in your life who is strong enough to chop the onions, this is a great t-shirt to show him that you recognize all the courage and manliness it takes to conquer those bad boys. A fair warning: you might however have to fend off suggestions that onions should be chopped with a pirate sword! Yarr!

3. We Are Someone, Not Something

Vegan t-shirt designs: we are someone, not somethingWe Are Someone T-Shirt

I’m pretty sure anyone following the news has heard about the lion Cecil that was killed by a sportshunter in Zimbabwe in July of 2015. That news started a tidal wave of outrage, petitions, and even threats against the man who killed Cecil, as everyday folks could not believe such a beautiful creature could meet such a gruesome ending.

I don’t know about you, but as a vegan, I shook my head at these reactions. Yes, sports hunting is wrong, but to be fair, Cecil probably lived a nicer life than the 56 billion farm animals that are killed EVERY YEAR for human consumption. These animals do not have nice lives, they live in hell until the moment they are slaughtered brutally and packaged as drumsticks, chops and steaks.

This t-shirt, with an intricate design that puts side by side the animals we farm and hunt, and the meat and food and clothing products they become, will remind people that there are far more “Cecil” creatures that we should fight for and petition for. All animals, if they were named, would maybe become “someone” in the eyes of folks, and not “something” they eat without a second thought.

2. Don’t Stay Calm Go Vegan

Vegan t-shirt designs: don't stay calm, go veganDon’t Stay Calm Go Vegan T-Shirt

I love this t-shirt, as its message is a nice rebuttal to the infinite variations of the “Keep Calm and…” t-shirts we find at every street corner. Staying calm is accepting the status quo, and going vegan is quite the opposite! So express your outrage at the common way of doing things with this clever t-shirt. After all, how can vegans stay calm as they become very aware of the social, environmental, and ethical impact of a traditional animal protein-based diet?

This t-shirt is for women and the store does not have an equivalent model for men. However, and this is the beauty of ordering from Etsy, I am sure you could contact the store owner and ask for this model but in a men’s t-shirt.

 

1. This Body is Vegan Owned and Operated

Vegan t-shirt designs: this body is vegan owned and operatedThis Body Is T-Shirt

This is one of the many cool vegan t-shirts for the athletic vegans out there. Help break the stereotype that vegans are scrawny-looking folks and flex your vegan muscles in this t-shirt that says, at the front, “This body is…” and at the back “vegan owned and operated”.

The store, cleverly called Meat Rehab, also had this design on other types of shirts, as well as tank tops for women.